Thursday, October 2, 2014

4 Days in Berlin - Day 2, 3, & 4

Date of Travel: 25-28 Jan 2014

Cycling in the snow, at the iconic Brandenburg Gate
Day 2
We kinda wasted today doing nothing much. After a superb hotel breakfast, we headed to the Trondl Market but found nothing much selling. Only later did we find out that today was a special festival day, where malls are only open from 1pm - 7pm today. Since our friend was really cold, we headed to our favourite outdoors-gear shop called Globetrotter to buy gloves. There was a sign at the door, but we could not read German! So we shopped at a mall nearby and hung around there till after 1pm, hoping that it would open. But luck wasn't on our side today. After heading back, we were just too cold and tired to go anywhere, and basically had dinner next door at an Italian restaurant called Marinelli.
My yummy hotel breakfast

Trondl Market is on the right. Really quiet day for a market

Streets were kept pretty clean and snow-free

Szechuan Soup at China House. Yucks

Dinner at Bellissimo, not bad at all

Day 2's Expenses:
Day Ticket = €16.20
Lunch = €15.00
Gloves = €22.95
Chocolates = €10.00
Maggi Spaghetti & Juice & Beer = €5.00
Toothpaste = 8 x €0.35 (travel size, very good for future trips)
Dove lotion = €2.75
Kids Jigsaw Puzzle = €27.15 for 5
Dinner = €36.40 + 3.60 tip = €40.00

Day 3
Not wanting to waste the day like yesterday, thankfully we had pre-booked a visit to the Parliament of Germany, a.k.a. the German Bundestag. We had to make sure to get there before the tour began at our registered time of 9:00am. Today also happened to be the anniversary of the release of Auswitch prisoners, and many VIP will be at the Parliament today. Therefore, security felt tight. It was a fantastic tour inside the Parliament, the tour guide was a political secretary who could answer any questions you had about the German parliament or politics. It seems like employees take turns giving tours, and every citizen is allowed entry into the parliament during a sitting. Everything is very transparent, and feels very democratic.
Start of tour, walking outdoors to the main building

Messages from soldiers were still preserved till today

A replica of the Reichstag building we were in now, where the Bundestag is held

This is an Art-piece supported by the Reichstag Building. Every parliament member name is on it

On good days, you can circle the interior of the dome up to the very top.
After our parliament visit, we walked out and saw a row of bicycles for rent. It was snowing badly, my leg was aching, suddenly riding a bike seemed like such a great idea! We went to the machine and tried to figure out how to work it. Due to miscommunication in the English translation, we had actually selected the 1-year membership, instead of the 1-time use. When we got the credit card bill later, we were shocked to have been charged about €48 per bike, can't remember the exact value. Thankfully, they reversed the charge after we emailed to them explaining the situation.

ANYWAY, I must say this first. It is bl**dy hard to ride a bike on snow covered roads, in the middle of heavy snowfall. We had to be the only jokers on the famous Under der Linden road doing this, and one that kept holding up traffic cos she was trying to snap photos. Still, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which I will always think fondly of.

Checking the locations on where we can return it. Let's go to Hackescher Market!

Try riding, with snow pelting your eyes, with one hand on the handle, and another trying to focus and snap this.

Exhilarating bike ride!
When we finally arrived Hackescher Market (2.2km away) 1 hour later, we were drenched in sweat and feeling dead tired. We had lunch at some random restaurant at the market, but things didn't seem too interesting either. We picked something called 1840, as they claim to be around since year 1840!

2 Berlin Meatballs, Berliner Bouletten €12.90

1840 Currywurst Spezial, €14.00

After lunch, we headed to the remnants of the Berlin Wall. No more cycling please. We took the train using our day ticket, to get to the East Side Gallery, which is what they call the wall now.

Up for a snack, we went to Burgermeister, a joint rated #15 on Tripadvisor for their burgers. We shared 1 burger, but didn't take it to be exceptionally nice. So-So. After the snack, we headed back to Globetrotter again for some shopping. It was worth going back a second time, it was a huge store and had a great sale at the time.

The Burgermeister is really small and has no seats inside. At most, only 10 customers can stand in there at a time.

€3.90 for this burger, I ain't complaining

For our last meal, we wanted to try something different - Turkish! Gel Gor Restaurant has very good kafte, and so cheap.

Hummus with pine nuts on top

Day 3's Expenses:
Lunch = €40
La Roche Touleriane Creme = €13.95 x 3
Hat = €4.99
Converted €200 to NOK1500 (BAD BAD BAD rate due to tax)
Burgermeister = €3.90
Jack Wolfskin bag = €20
Dinner at Gel Gor Turkish = €24.50

Day 4
This was a really long day. One train to the airport was cancelled, and we had to quickly re-route to another line. So stressful in case we missed the plane. Always always go early to the airport in Europe. We were leaving Berlin, for our next destination Tromso, Norway. More details to come.

Day 4's Expenses:
Train Ticket = €3.20 x 3

Continue reading on Europe2014:
How I Ended Up In Norway In Jan 2014
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 1 & 2
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 3 Visiting The Pope!
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 4 Napoli & Pompeii
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 5 & 6 Florence 
4 Days in Barcelona - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 1
4 Days in Barcelona - Day 2
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 3 & 4
4 Days In Berlin - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Berlin - Day 1
4 Days In Berlin - Day 2, 3 & 4
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 1
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 2
Northern Lights in Tromso Norway - Day 3 & 4  

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